When the roller coaster of change happens it can feel like you can hardly survive muchless thrive. Thriving amidst change, even hard life changes can happen!
There are ways to move through a change with grace and grow through your change. It may be in ways you’d rather not grow, like learning to live with a forced change in career, new illness, or loss of a loved one. However, you can move from surviving the change to thriving despite the changes you didn’t ask for.
Survival to Thriving - Understanding the Change Process
One way to work through change is to understand and lean into our feelings and thoughts around change and the process of accepting change. Moving through the change process and working through change mirrors the Kubler-Ross Grief and Loss cycle – denial, anger, bargaining/dialoguing, depression, and acceptance.
Often when first learn of a change we’re in shock and denial. We may feel confusion, blame, or avoidance. All of these reactions and feelings are normal. This first part of the change cycle sounds like, “I can’t believe this.., this can’t be, why?...”
The next step can be a feeling of elation, agitation, irritation, anger or fear – depending upon the change. You might be embarrassed, feel anxious, shame, frenetic, exuberant, or frustrated. It sounds like, “Wow, I’m so blessed, I blame …, you can’t make me, not doing this, I’m not going to talk about it, I’m scared of…, I’m so excited and I’m going to do … This is so annoying…”
Next can be a period of detachment, discomfort or depression. Feeling overwhelmed by the change, lack of energy, helpless, unproductive. Sounds like, “Meh, I just can’t, I’m so tired, I’m too overwhelmed so I can’t do anything, I’ll deal with it later.”
This can lead to a time of bargaining and dialoguing where we are working to make meaning of the change and personalize it. Some ways we do this is by researching, journaling, writing, talking about it, or thinking of ways to creatively work with the change.
Acceptance is when we’re able to work with the change versus fight, resist, or ignore it. We may anticipate the change and what it may bring. We may find renewed energy and move towards making a plan to deal with the change. We can start putting plans in place and begin to feel more confident with the change. We may still feel uncomfortable and move into the prior spaces but we’re able to move forward with life and the changes it’s brought to us.
Ultimately the change becomes integrated into our body, mind, and soul. This takes time and each part may take a different timeline to fully integrate. When we’re fully integrated we’re empowered, focused, feel secure and have our self-esteem. We’re able to make meaning of the change.
Where are you on this change cycle in your life change?
Thoughts and tips on life changes.
We might not always have all of the information we want during change. Identifying what is known and unknown can help. Make a list of the facts, what you know and then another of the unknowns. Learning to be comfortable with the unknowns is a resilience skill.
Know that you can survive and thrive during change even when it feels like you can’t. Trust yourself. You are doing the best you can.
Look for the opportunity, good, learning in a change. It may be hard to find but look for them.
Think in possibilities – what could go right? What’s good about this? What might be possible? This thought pattern of possibility is one of hope and future – a thriving resiliency skill.
Through change I encourage you to work through it vs. fight it. My dad always said you can lead change, fight change or get left behind. There is another thing you can do – live in the present moment of the change, look for the growth and opportunities and lastly flow with the change.
Remember, life changes take time to process, understand, get comfortable with, adapt and accept. Your body, soul, and mind each process at a different rate. Tune into them as you navigate change to thrive versus just surviving the change.
Sometimes, the first step is to survive then thrive. Do what you can.
What is a next step you can take to thrive during this change?
- Plan the next step, set it in action and do it for you!!
If you or someone you know would like support in life or business dealing with life changes, please reach out and contact me. I provide a safe place to explore and work through life changes – both personal and professional.
Latest client wins – Landed their dream job! Two interviews at their top companies! Resigned to find better life balance and start their own company! So proud of my clients for the hard work they do and positive life changes they are making!
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Peace, and blessings,
Teresa – Working to thrive amidst big life changes
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, PCC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down by life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.